January 15, 2009

The University of Exeter has appointed Guy Hitchcock the head of its Centre for Energy and the Environment. Dr Hitchcock previously worked for Transport and Travel Research, the Energy Technology Support Unit and the Building Research Establishment. He will lead a team of eight working with local authorities and public-sector bodies across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. He takes over the role from Trevor Preist, who is retiring after ten years in charge of the centre.

A physics professor at the University of Aberdeen has received an international honour for research that is said to have made a major contribution to the field. Celso Grebogi's research paper "Controlling chaos", co-authored with Edward Ott and James A. Yorke from the University of Maryland, has been named one of the milestone pieces of physics research from the past 50 years by the American Physical Society. The paper, which changed science's understanding of chaos theory, appears on a list drawn up by the society to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its publication, Physical Review Letters. Professor Grebogi said that as more than a third of the papers in the list had led to Nobel prizes for their authors, it was a great honour to be named. "Our work opened up a whole new area of research, changing philosophically our way of thinking about chaos."

Queen's University Belfast has appointed Bhaskar Sengupta a "Malaysian ambassador" as part of its plans to build links with the country. More than 120 Malaysian students enrolled at Queen's this academic year, and Dr Sengupta has been appointed to develop partnerships with the country's universities. Queen's already has a partnership with the Malaysian higher education institution Universiti Teknologi Petronas, focusing on collaborative research in chemistry. It also has agreements with the University of Malaya and the Terrenganu Advanced Technological Institute.

Matthew Robson has joined Leeds University Business School as professor of marketing. A graduate of Swansea University and Concordia University in Montreal, he joins Leeds from Cardiff Business School. His research interests include international collaborative strategies.

Siddharthan Chandran, currently a consultant neurologist at the University of Cambridge, is to head the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research at the University of Edinburgh. The centre was set up following a donation from Euan MacDonald, who has motor neurone disease, and his father, Donald. It brings together research in regenerative medicine and stem-cell research, neuroscience, molecular medicine and genetics.

Former dancer Karen Napier has been appointed associate dean (advancement) at the London Business School. She will oversee its alumni relations and development teams. After working for the English National Opera and Rambert Dance Company, she joined London's Southbank Centre in 1999 as head of development for the Hayward Gallery. As director of development for Southbank, she managed fundraising for its £111 million "transformation campaign", which culminated in the reopening of the refurbished Royal Festival Hall in 2007.

Athene Donald has been named a 2009 European Laureate in the L'Oreal-Unesco Awards for women in science. The professor of experimental physics at the University of Cambridge is one of five recipients to win the award this year, which has for the past ten years celebrated the achievements made by women in science. Professor Donald, who was recognised for her work on the physics of materials, is only the second British scientist to win the honour. The other award winners are: Tebello Nyokong, professor in the department of chemistry at Rhodes University, South Africa; Akiko Kobayashi, professor and chair of the department of chemistry, Nihon University; Eugenia Kumacheva, professor in the department of chemistry, University of Toronto; and Beatriz Barbuy, professor at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Sao Paulo.

The World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer has elected Chris Wild, professor of molecular epidemiology and director of the Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics at the University of Leeds, as its director. Professor Wild will continue at the university as honorary professor of molecular epidemiology and will work with Leeds colleagues on research into the cancer risks of naturally occurring dietary toxins in Africa. Michael Arthur, Leeds' vice-chancellor, said: "Chris will be one of the world's leading figures in cancer prevention, and we are delighted that he is able to maintain his links with the university."

Elsewhere at the University of Leeds, Richard Williams, pro vice-chancellor for enterprise, knowledge transfer and international strategy, is one of only two non-Australians to be elected one of 32 new fellows of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. The academy is an independent, non-government organisation dedicated to the promotion in Australia of scientific and engineering knowledge for practical purposes.

Alan Collins, the director of business development and enterprise at the University of Wolverhampton, has won recognition for his "outstanding contribution to knowledge-transfer activities" at the annual Lord Stafford Awards. The awards were set up to recognise and encourage collaborative relationships between businesses and universities. The university said that Dr Collins has played a key role in securing £50 million for nearly 50 knowledge-transfer partnerships, set up between the university and local businesses. These have benefited about 5,000 firms, safeguarded more than 8,000 jobs and generated sales worth more than £200 million, the university said.

Clare Anderson has become the head of fundraising and development at the University of Plymouth. She joins from Durham University, where she was deputy director of development. In her new role, she will build on the relationship between the university and its graduates. She said: "Our alumni are a major asset - they can offer advice and guidance to current students ... They have a vital role to play as (Plymouth) strives to achieve its aspiration to be the enterprise university."

Birmingham City University's new pro vice-chancellor for corporate development is David Maguire. Professor Maguire joins from the Environmental Systems Research Institute, a computer software company based in California, where he was chief scientist.

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